Inaugural Homer Circle Award Presented
The inaugural Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) Homer Circle Fishing Communicator Award was presented to Andy Hahn, Sport Fishing magazine senior editor, during a press conference at the 2008 ICAST Show.
The award recognizes fishing industry journalists who exemplify the spirit, dedication to fishing, extraordinary talent and commitment to mentoring the next generation of fishing communicators as displayed by the legendary Homer Circle during his storied career.
"Uncle Homer, as he's always been known within the fishing industry, is the type of journalist and person we all aspire to be," explained Laurie Lee Dovey, executive director of POMA and a long-time friend of Circle's. "His quick smile, joyful spirit and supportive voice are outshined only by his talent and commitment to the sport he's loved so long."
Hahn was unable to travel from Brazil to the ICAST Show, but relayed a simple message of gratitude via e-mail.
"I feel privileged to receive an award bearing Homer's name, and honored to know that my peers find me deserving of this recognition," Hahn said.
Sport Fishing colleague Chris Woodward accepted the award on Andy's behalf at the press conference. The message she read from Hahn gave the credit to numerous folks at Sport Fishing, but most important recognized Ligia Hahn, Andy's wife, "who always encouraged me (Andy) to follow my heart and pursue my passions."
Hahn's nomination by Mike Mazur defines all of the reasons that Hahn was the unanimous selection to receive the honor.
"I have not worked in this business long, but I've been around long enough to know that Andy Hahn deserves this prestigious award - he epitomizes everything it stands for," Mazur said.
"Andy is a decorated writer. His copy is clean, crisp and clear and his writing style captures the essence of angling and engrains the excitement of fishing deep into a reader's memory. Perhaps most importantly at this stage in his life, however, Andy is regarded as a true gentleman. He is kind, compassionate and a joy to be around. Andy Hahn is inspiring, plain and simple, and he motivates this young outdoor writer to be the best he can be on a daily basis."
"When I offered Andy Hahn a position as associate editor for Sport Fishing, I had little idea what a rare stroke of brilliance that would prove to be," adds Hahn's boss Doug Olander. "He quickly demonstrated that he has it all. He's a superb writer, an insightful interviewer, a naturally inquisitive mind, has a great eye for capturing scenes on camera and is always ready with a pun and quick wit. And perhaps more than anyone I know, Andy is one of those rare people who manages to engender respect and affection from everyone who has ever met him. Working with Andy as a colleague has been and continues to be a pleasure and an honor."
Nominations for the Homer Circle Fishing Communicator Award are sought from all fishing industry professionals, corporate and media. Nominees are not required to be affiliated with any fishing industry or communicator's organization. The award is presented as deemed appropriate, not necessarily annually.
Remember the movie title Blame it on Rio? The same phrase applies to my outdoor writing career. I grew up on the outer edge of Pittsburgh's suburbia, where I could step out the back door to hunt, fish and run a trapline. I never dreamed of leaving Pennsylvania.
My horizons began to widen when I studied communications at Ohio University. Then I met a woman named Ligia in graduate school at Temple University. We eventually married and moved to her home town of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I became fluent in Portuguese and found work as an English teacher, wedding videographer and translator while Ligia taught at the federal university.
In 1991, a twist of fate placed me in my orthodontist's office when his son stopped by. Listening closely as they talked of trolling for sailfish and dorado, I somehow wheedled an invitation for their next trip. When the good doctor saw the photos I took that day, he said I was welcome aboard his boat any time - as long as I brought my camera. The opportunity allowed me to become the only photographer in Brazil specializing in offshore fishing and landed me a job with a Brazilian magazine.
I went on to edit and publish my own fishing magazine out of Rio before moving to Florida upon accepting a position with Sport Fishing magazine in 1998. Since then, my articles and photos have garnered numerous awards from FOWA and SEOPA. I now keep busy as Sport Fishing's Senior Editor. The editor in chief rarely sees me in the office, though. I've returned to the Southern Hemisphere. In 2001, Ligia said she wanted to move back to Brazil, and I readily agreed. Can you blame me?